HC Deb 26 March 1973 vol 853 cc905-6
16. Mr. Whitehead

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he is satisfied that the publishing industry has observed the Government's announced intentions on its prices and incomes policy.

Mr. Anthony Grant

Yes, Sir; I believe that the publishing industry generally is co-operating with the policy. If the hon. Member has any particular points in mind, perhaps he will let me have the details.

Mr. Whitehead

The Minister should not tempt me. Is he aware that many hon. Members are receiving letters from school teachers and students in their constituencies complaining about racketeering in educational books? Is he aware that Methuen UP and Macmillan have recently reprinted or overprinted new prices representing a 50 per cent. increase —and sometimes more—on textbooks printed in 1970 which, if they had not been educational textbooks, would have been remaindered by now? There is no justification for this. Will the Minister order an inquiry and tell firms to stop exploiting students, instead of telling the students that they do not need higher grants?

Mr. Grant

I will tell the hon. Gentleman that we will look carefully at the cases he has mentioned and consider them in that light.